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GOP candidates to woo conservatives at big event

By Charles Babington

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 10 2012 2:36 a.m. MST

With his wife Callista at left, Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks after touring the Jergens manufacturing facility in Cleveland during a campaign stop on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Gingrich, suddenly in danger of losing his perch as Mitt Romney’s strongest GOP challenger, is fine-tuning his presidential campaign. He’s placing more emphasis on raising money, guarding his home turf and trying to avoid nasty quarrels with the front-runner.

Amy Sancetta, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Three of the four Republican presidential candidates are addressing a major conservative gathering in Washington, giving them a high-profile stage to reshape their messages at a moment of uncertainty in the contest.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum rocked the Republican world this week by winning caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, plus a nonbinding primary in Missouri.

His victories have raised new questions about Mitt Romney's ability to inspire conservatives, and about Newt Gingrich's claim to be the top alternative to Romney.

Santorum, Romney and Gingrich will separately address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday. Rep. Ron Paul, whose libertarian leanings put him at odds with some mainstream conservatives, does not plan to attend.

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